The following is the text of the speech given by Congressional candidate Tim Nerenz at the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin's annual convention April 18, 2009:
To paraphrase John Adams,
When people ask me to define
Government at all levels – federal, state, and local – will spend more than $6.5 trillion this year. That is $54,000 for each of the 120 million private sector jobs that ultimately bear the cost; the median income in those jobs is $38,000.
This year, Government will spend over 45% of GDP. Another 15% of GDP is consumed by unfunded mandates on the private sector. That is 60% of GDP taken by Government – by any definition we are already a socialist nation.
In my lifetime, Government spending has tripled, from 21% of GDP to 60% today. We have gone from 80% free to 40% free in less than my 55 years.
Reckless spending by both parties has created a public debt of over $11 trillion. There is another $6 trillion in unfunded social security liabilities, and an estimated $7 trillion obligation for the bailouts and so-called stimulus spending of recent months.
That is $24 trillion of debt obligations, which works out to $200,000 per job. We are stealing money from two generations of Americans not yet born. $24 trillion is half of the total wealth of all households in the
The current economic crisis is not simply a periodic pulse in the business cycle; our economy is collapsing under the unbearable weight of Government taxation, regulation, and manipulation of markets. We have created a corporate welfare state every bit as destructive for its wards as the social welfare state that preceded it.
It is not so difficult to understand how we have reached this point; for 2 decades we consumed more than we produced, spent more than we earned, and borrowed more than we saved. Government engaged in unwise military interventions abroad and unsound economic interventions at home.
It is silly to spend trillions in borrowed money to get the economy “back on track”, when the track leads to ruin. No one in
If you recall, President Obama did not say “spreading your wealth around”; he said “spreading the wealth around”. With that choice of one single word, he told us all we need to know about the direction this nation is headed.
He does not believe it’s your money. He doesn’t think you earned it. It was allocated to you, and allocating resources are what government does. The power to grant rights and dispense benefits is why elections matter, and they won.
He is not alone in his belief that wealth exists separately from the person who created it. Collectivists like Tammy Baldwin believe that resources belong to the whole of society, not to its individual members; so do rights and responsibilities. They are wrong.
Libertarians are the last vanguard of individualism and exceptionalism in
The purpose of government is to provide an environment in which rights are protected and individuals can reach their fullest potential, limited only by talent, character, and initiative. It is not the duty of government to protect us from our choices, it is its duty to protect our right to make them ourselves.
Libertarians celebrate real diversity, the inequality of outcomes that comes from equality of opportunity. We do not seek the common good; we seek the uncommon better. We do not want to be equally poor; we want to be unequally rich; rich in every sense – rights, choices, opportunities, wealth, knowledge, and freedom.
We do not want our possibilities constrained by some dullard’s view of what is possible for him. Your success doesn’t diminish mine – it enhances it. Your achievement does not take my possibilities away, it creates new ones. Your choices do not threaten me; they provide a reason for me to examine my own.
Socialists like Tammy Baldwin will never understand this; they are frightened by freedom, they are jealous of real achievement, they seek order, control, and sameness. They have no concept of where wealth comes from, how it is created, and how it is destroyed. You don’t learn much by spending other people’s money.
Let’s be frank, Republicans can’t win the 2nd District – there are too many Democrats in it. Libertarians at least have a shot. We are pro-choice on everything; we can connect with every single voter on at least one decisive issue of choice – healthcare, schools, guns, drugs, property, choice at 18, pensions, fairtax, military deployment.
My campaign will focus on the themes of Free Trade, Limited Government, Individual Liberty, Private Property – FLIP is the acronym that people remember. We will attack the socialist positions of Tammy Baldwin and we will propose alternative solutions to the nation’s problems that are both principled and practical.
Our campaign will address specific issues, but it will not be about how to govern; it will be about who governs. I want you to govern your earnings, your family, your property, your schools, your life. Government should be your servant, not your master, and the servant has a job description – it’s called the Constitution.
I know how to read it. Government does what we tell it in the blank ink; the white space belongs to us, not to Tammy Baldwin and her socialist buddies. I want to go
You can do that by voting for Tim, Not Tammy.
Tim Nerenz is the Libertarian Party Candidate for